Taquito works its mojo
No mere taco, this treat is four bites of heaven. Three, in big gulps.
By BEN MONTGOMERY
Published May 8, 2007
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. - A man accused of killing a 7-Eleven clerk after an argument over the price of a taco admitted that he shot the man, according to police.
Kenyatta Davis argued with Wajed Baig, 47, a clerk at the Sterling Heights store, over the price of a $1.16 taco. Davis got a gun from his vehicle and shot the father of three four times, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
* * *
It's nearing 1 a.m. and you're waiting outside 7-Eleven on Davis Islands for someone to buy a Go-Go Taquito so you can finally get some answers.
A couple walks in. The man veers to the cooler. Smart. Grab a Gatorade, pal. You'll need it to wash down that jalapeno and cream cheese Taquito, which is "Now Even Hotter, " as if it wasn't hot enough before. The cooler door slaps shut and he heads toward the rollers. Golden.
The woman stays up front. She's eyeing something near US Weekly. Suddenly she looks up, looks at you, right at you, in your car, your face lit in dashboard green, staring at her and writing furiously on the notebook in your lap.
You're busted. Even if these kids exit with 11 Taquitos, what do you say, Creepy Car Guy?
I see you got Taquitos. Hear about the guy who killed for one?
Here they come. There they go.
What are you doing here?
* * *
The news reports called it a taco, or, for goodness' sake, a taco-on-a-stick. Incorrect.
It was a Go-Go Taquito; neither a burrito nor a taco, but a delicious crossbreed. I like to think the captain of the burrito football team hooked up with some sexy little taco after the big game in '89. Maybe they sat on his futon with some Miller High Life. Maybe the strap on her dress fell off her shoulder.
Then, behold, the Go-Go Taquito. Not just one Go. Two. Fourteen fat grams, 280 calories, 1-million grams of attitude.
He was the kid with the mustache in seventh grade. He wore Cole Haans and never carried books. His girlfriend slipped her hand in his back pocket when they brushed past you in the hall.
* * *
Thanksgiving Day, 2005, you realize you have a problem. You and a friend are driving to meet some folks. You take a bad turn and go forever on some road. Then you see 7-Eleven. You stop. Then, on Thanksgiving Day, a few hours after turkey and dressing, you eat three Taquitos.
* * *
A few truths about the Go-Go Taquito:
1. Somewhere on Earth, outside one of 30, 000 7-Elevens, someone, cigarette in one hand, is eating one right now.
2. That someone should be you.
3. You can fit four of them in the cup holder.
4. The Go-Go is the Hillary Clinton of 7-Eleven food. You love it or hate it. My brother sometimes eats his before he pays. My friend Saundra says they "felt like rocks" in her stomach.
The Taquito presents more questions than answers. It's sheathed in deep-fried mystery, like edible Dead Sea Scrolls. What makes it good? Is it the convenience of not needing to find a bun or pump communal mustard? Is it the elegant simplicity, like a river bend?
Moreover, what kind of person kills for one?
* * *
"It was like somebody gave me something, " Davis, 35, told Sterling Heights police. "I wasn't myself."
* * *
You walk under the stars and into the cold smell of grease and doughnuts.
There on the rollers: life. The reassuring perpetual motion, the young and old, the fresh and the overbaked. The beef and cheese, the fiesta chicken, the lumpy, lonely Cheeseburger Big Bite, just rolling along, all of them rolling, all of them vulnerable, waiting to be plucked from the grill by tongs.
The Clerk: "You want something?"
You: "How long have those been on there?"
The Clerk: "A while."
Ben Montgomery can be reached at email@example.com or 813 661-2443.
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Encounters is dedicated to small but meaningful stories. Sometimes they will play out far from the tumult of the daily news; sometimes they may be part of the news. To comment or suggest an idea for a story, contact editor Mike Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727)892-2924.